Foods That Raise Uric Acid. Uric acid is a nitrogenous waste created as a byproduct when the body digests foods containing purines. Even though it is a less toxic substance than ammonia or urea, further increases in its level will cause problems such as gout.
In normal cases, most of the uric acid goes to the kidneys, where it leaves the body via urine. Uric acid levels rise when your kidneys are unable to remove uric acid effectively, or when you consume foods and beverages high in purine.
Your diet is one of the peak factors to elevate your uric acid levels. Let’s explore how purines affect uric acid in your body, and which foods you should avoid to maintain a healthy level of uric acid.
Foods That Should Not Be Eaten
Some foods are naturally rich in purines. When our bodies break down purines, uric acid is formed. Through the body’s metabolism of purine-rich foods, it can result in too much uric acid being produced, leading to gout.
When a diet is low in purine, uric acid levels typically decrease too, so limiting intake of foods that contain purine can help reduce gout flares. The Purine-rich foods that should be avoided as they increase uric acid levels, which is bad for people suffering from gout are listed below.
- Alcohol of all kinds.
- A variety of organ meats including hearts, kidneys, liver.
- A wide variety of shellfish and seafood, including shrimp, anchovies, mussels, lobster, and sardines.
- All types of red meat, including lamb, beef, pork, etc.
The same applies to venison and meat gravies.
Purine Based Foods And Uric Acid Level
People enjoy a variety of foods including tomato, coffee, avocado, egg, tuna, fish, chocolate, broccoli, chicken, shrimp, and beans, but they are unsure if these foods increase or decrease their uric acid levels.
These people are of the view that Are these foods increasing the level of uric acid? If so, how much? The following sections will answer these questions. Read on to find out.
The consumption of tomatoes is linked to an increase in blood uric acid levels. In relation to this, some people can be affected by gout after consuming them. Researchers have found that eating a lot of tomatoes can increase levels of uric acid resulting in gout risks.
In some cases, tomatoes do not cause gout flare-ups. In fact, certain people may benefit from tomatoes as a way to reduce inflammation and symptoms of gout.
Several studies suggest that genetics and health play a greater role than food like tomatoes in triggering gout. In other words, tomatoes may flare one person’s gout, but not others on the basis of genetic influence and health issues.
According to many studies, coffee can reduce your risk of developing gout. Coffee is an incredible source of minerals, polyphenols, and caffeine, among others. Several studies have shown that coffee competes with the enzyme responsible for breaking down purines in the body. As a result, uric acid production can be reduced.
Researchers found that drinking coffee can lower uric acid levels and prevent hyperuricemia in many cases. A recent study showed that uric acid levels are inversely related to coffee consumption. Coffee drinkers had the lowest levels of uric acid among those in the study.
Some scientists, however, believe there’s insufficient evidence supporting the possibility of drinking coffee reducing gout risks.
According to a study, the amount of uric acid in the body increases when coffee is consumed for a long time and decreases when it is eliminated. The findings also suggest that there may be genetic factors contributing to the link between coffee consumption and gout risk.
The avocado is one of the healthiest fruits. It is often considered as a superfood due to its many benefits. Avocados contain more potassium than bananas. As potassium helps remove uric acid from the body, it is extremely important for people suffering from gout.
In addition to helping gout patients by reducing their uric acid levels, this will likely help them avoid high blood pressure, which raises their risk of a heart attack, stroke, and kidney failure.
Foods that are safe for gout sufferers include eggs. Gout sufferers who avoid red meat as it is high in purines can choose eggs as another source of protein that are low in purines.
However, although they are low in purines, they should be consumed in moderation by patients with high uric acid levels. Consuming too much could increase uric acid levels. Ideally, one should consume four eggs a week.
It’s considered healthy to eat tuna and other cold-water fish, but tuna has a high amount of purines, which can make gout worse. There are many benefits to eating fish, including healthy fats, lean proteins, vitamins, and minerals etc.
However, it is also well-known that eating seafood, including fish, increases the level of uric acid in the blood, causing an attack of gout. In case of gout or hyperuricemia, all fish should be eaten in moderation.
Chocolate without added sugar or sweeteners might offer benefits to those suffering from gout.
- Studies suggest that chocolate may help reduce uric acid crystallization. A key to controlling your gout may be to lower uric acid crystallization.
- Polyphenols in chocolate have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Gout attacks can be relieved by reducing inflammation.
In 100 grams of broccoli, there are about 70 milligrams of purines. Studies have classified broccoli as one of the low purine foods – foods with more than 300 mg of purine per 100 grams are grouped as high purine foods.
Broccoli contains many antioxidant compounds (inflammation fighters), which makes it a good choice for those with gout. Diets containing broccoli could reduce the risk of chronic diseases, including gout (especially for those trying to eat a healthy lifestyle).
Purines in chicken are mostly moderate, but they might range from very low to very high in some cuts.
For people who suffer from gout, the best thing to do is to avoid organ meats like chicken liver and eat only moderately purine foods.
Shrimp contains a high level of purines, so they should be consumed in small amounts or avoided completely. Shrimp is considered one of the foods that elevates uric acid levels, making it a bad seafood food to eat for gout sufferers.
Uric acid is not caused by non-vegetarian foods only. Purine levels in some beans are particularly high too, so those with severe gout are advised to avoid them.
Additionally, some high-protein lentils like dried beans, dry peas, soybean, lentil dals, kidney beans, and baked beans contain moderate levels of purine, so they should also be consumed in limited amounts.
Keep these points in mind
Following a low-purine diet and avoiding high-purine foods may help you avoid gout and uric acid buildup; however, one cannot ignore genetic influences.
Discuss with your doctor other solutions, like medications, if you’re still experiencing uncontrolled high uric acid levels.
Read also: Oatmeal and uric acid: Is it good or bad?
External resources: Verywellhealth